Google has been charged with abusing the dominance of its Android mobile operating system in deals with phone makers and mobile network operators. The tech giant was accused under anti-trust laws at the end of a year-long inquiry by the European Competition Commission. Its behaviour was said to “have denied consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services”. Google’s approach also "stands in the way of innovation by other players", the commission said.
A competitive mobile internet sector is increasingly important for consumers and businesses in Europe.
EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager
Commentators say the anti-competition charge could hit a key money-spinner for Google, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. It made about $11bn (£7.6bn) from ad sales on Android phones with Google apps such as Maps, Search and Gmail last year. The tech company is already being probed for promoting its own shopping service in internet searches at the expense of rivals. That case, which has dragged on since late 2010, culminated last year with the European Commission filing anti-trust charges against Google.
Android has helped foster a remarkable and, importantly, sustainable ecosystem, based on open-source software and open innovation. We look forward to working with the European Commission.
Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice-president